Article 43


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Coffee Manager

SINCE WHEN IS POURING COFFE A MANAGEMENT JOB? Amazingly, Judge Ewing Werlein of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled Jan. 2 that even if two managers of a Starbucks spent the majority of their working time on duties like pouring coffee, they still could not be paid overtime. 

The FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT (FLSA) generally requires overtime pay for employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek, unless they work in a bona fide executive, administrative or professional capacity. Starbucks claimed Kevin Keevican and Michael Terrazas were exempt from overtime pay and that such duties as pouring coffee and cleaning up were management functions because the managers were training new employees.

In 2004, at least 6 million workers LOST THEIR RIGHT TO OVERTIME PAY under new Bush administration rules, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). The report was released one day after former high-ranking Labor Department officials reported that the new overtime rules would substantially erode the overtime rights of Americas workers.

The Bush administration’s changes to the FLSA regulations established new rules for employers to determine if workers are eligible for overtime pay. Under the new rules, workers who earn as little as $23,660 per yearabout $5,000 above the poverty line for a family of four - could see their jobs reclassified as ineligible for overtime pay.

The EPI report says some 2 million administrative workers stood to lose their overtime rights under a rule change that makes “team leaders” ineligible for overtime pay, even when they do not supervise others on the team.

Under the Bush rules, in order to be overtime exempt, an employee must be paid a salary of at least $455 per week and must have management as his or her primary duty, regularly supervise two or more employees and exercise discretionary authority without supervision.

In testimony, Keevican and Terrazas acknowledged they exercised some managerial authority, but they estimated they spent 70 percent to 80 percent of their time waiting on customers, cleaning up and performing many of the same tasks handled by nonmanagerial employees.


Posted by Elvis on 01/10/07 •
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